Inextricably Linked

1.8 billion muslims, for the most part non violent. For the most part. But the violent ones are not really muslims in the true sense. The only violence required by any religion is in how we apply its principles rigorously to transforming ourselves into better human beings. 126 years ago, in Chicago, Swami Vivekananda said

“They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.”

He was rather optimistic… but is his a gift of choice – which side do we choose to be on? Obviously not that of the fanatic. But for a man who doesn’t believe in the death sentence, can there be a path of love that’s reformative? That other powerful word which was MK Gandhi’s gift to humanity – ahimsa or non violence. How can I firmly, sternly and with love, help a brother put aside his mad ideas and mad ways? That no one religion or race is superior, that we must indeed “condemn the sin, not the sinner”.

Condemning the sin is important here and requires thinking through. Did 19 muslims take down the twin towers or was it 19 tormented souls that had been brainwashed a certain way by seeming “religious leaders”? Islam was only the tool or vocabulary being used to incite these “fanatics” to genocide.

I got into trouble last year during the pulwama attacks for suggesting we should mourn every Pakistani soldier lost since 1971. In principle this is true. Who are we that Indian soldiers only have families or comrades? War does not determine whose right or wrong, only whose left. And it’s to be hated in every form because it only brings out the worst in us.

So let’s not think of battles that reduce men to animals, so easy to begin and then impossible to end!

Let’s conquer our own ability to be polarized by the media, a media that rarely shows character, instead sensationalizing everything. Find someone you have fought with in the past and overcome that Ill feeling. Write letters to people “across the border”

I prefer to align myself to the hymn “make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred let me bring your love, where there is injury your pardon lord, and where there’s doubt true faith in you”.

Its 52 years since the Beatles sang “all you need is love” and nearly 2 decades since Savage Garden said “forgiveness is the key to your own happiness”. So who did you forgive today? And what bridges are you building?

Remember, we are all wending our way to the same goal!

Dear Modern Religious Critic

Dear Modern Religious Critic,

While it is true that more people have been killed in the name of religion, it is also true that the true spirit of God maintains a living positive influence on our hearts.

Call the Divine what you will but there is certainly a force of Nature that exists beyond our minuscule understanding of the universe, ourselves and society.

Some say God, some exalt science and some say nature spirit or cosmic play.

I am here to help integrate all religions of the world, they are classified into:

I am here to tell you there is a pagan, an atheist and a believer in each of you.

When you realise that there needs be reform in religion and something more than a dogmatic spaghetti mess, the atheist in you speaks, trying to “crush these soiled card houses”.

When you see the multiplication of Gods in Hinduism, you wonder if they are polytheistic but then realise they submit to only one Brahman that transcends all. Brahman, not Brahma of the Trinity.

The pantheon of Greeks seems also confusing until you realise that there are indeed governing powers beyond this simple Earthly plane. When you read Tolkien’s creation myth (yieldmore.org/tolkien), you realise the confusing word GOD is used in multiple places to mean multiple things.

The Nihilistic buddhism only means God in the infinite sense. And for those who think buddhism is atheism, do remember that in Vedic Times, atheists were a well known and accepted part of society.

Pagans give obeisance to the natural forces, associating spirits or gods and goddesses with them.

I still fail to see what all the fuss or fighting is about? We live in a new age of enlightenment and need to STOP allowing dogma to divide us.

Its history that says remember the bad acts of the past and dogma and personal tastes that is used to drive the wedge of “religious differences”. No one religion, when understood correctly says to do bad, they only say, contemplate and let your conscience be your guide.

I began this essay talking of how sullied the word God has become because of constant association with violence and bloodshed. That’s extremist people who use a particular religion to suit their needs.

I believe we should rekindle in our collective minds the beauty of each religion in an attempt to throw away the hangovers of the past and BECOME AS ONE collective!

Dear Fellow Human

link: Update from Simon Anholt / Madedline Hung of the Good Country, Jul 12th

We’ve lived with hangovers of the dark ages for long enough. Every decade since the worldwide revolution of the 60s has shown us increase in our ability to love, think of, and act selflessly for one another.

Time to up the ante and truly become ONE WORLD. Harmonize the conflicts. Soothe the hurts. Grow in oneness and come always from a direction of caring.

How we long to be our brother’s keeper. And to keep our sisters happy. But we’re going to need some help coming together if we’re going to make the world work. Many of us have longed for it. Some even striven for it.

Enter my friend Simon and this virtual country he is proposing. 200000 citizens for a start from all parts of the world. Speaking different languages, practising different faiths, all unique expressions of the highest beauty nature and evolution have to offer.

True believers in the power of an idea to change the world. We are after all the architects of our future lives and of this Earth’s destiny…

“We would not think of battle that reduces us to sub-humans. So easy to begin but then impossible to end”. ~ Uriah Heep

None can stop the march of evolution. And as Eru says: “nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.” ~ Tolkien

George Carlin talks of the divine plan too and remember that we are heading back to regaining a glorious past. A golden age. The final establishment of a Kingdom of Heaven when we will realise and attune ourselves fully to our divine origins.

It falls on us blessed with faith and abundance to help pave this way forward. Become the forerunners of all our future selves. Healers, Thinkers, Artists, Builders, Labourers, Teachers, Parents, Statesmen ad infinitum.

There is much beauty in this world and healing in the depths of time.

Time to turn that page, let go of that hurt, rise up and make our creator proud as we go back to our illimitable origins.

Regaining Faith

In the old world, husbands and wives clung to each other. They knew how tough it was to build a marriage, so would do almost anything to keep it together. So if you are mutually unhappy, maybe it’s not your marriage that’s broken but your relationship with your own selves.

And reflecting that base irreconcilability within you is a less than passable relationship with everyone else.

If everything were fine, we wouldn’t let disconnect and doubt sow her seeds. Mostly self doubt.

The problems of marriage are seemingly many but at the kernel of them is a lack of communication. We need to go to the roots of the problem. That is not always easy and some would say not worth the effort.

While some would say when kids are involved it’s better to have a clean break than let the kid grow up watching an unsuccessful marriage take it’s toll on both parents, this writer begs to differ. Define a perfect marriage or show me one where there isn’t give and take.

In cases where there is a monster possessing one party and the other is too weak, frail or timid to drive it away I would say ok part ways.

And to those that didn’t look deep enough before leaping I may say did you “try and get the feeling again”? Forget the past and all it didn’t bring.

All it needs is two pliable souls… then ask yourself how pliable you are and who is willing to go further to get back together again. And by together I mean the “happily ever after” kind not “we barely talk but atleast live in the same house”…

So, she cheated on you… twice… just when you were recovering from that bout of depression. Or he couldn’t care tuppence when you lost your 12 year old cat – Tom. Or she beat you on the head because she was having a meltdown and no one including her realized she needed serious help.

Was it love or was it the idea of being in love? What got us started on this road? How well did we know ourselves, our feelings and our desires? Do we as yet?

Just as in life, in relationships we must embrace change. Build love on a base of constancy but be ready to adapt. Fail to and one day you will wonder what just hit you. We grow older and more bone weary – some couples are fortunate to find new love as life wears on, but everyone has too work at it.

So keep working on who you are, reflect on what drives you and on what makes you tick. Then think of family or an uncle who is no more and somewhere in the midst of it all perhaps you will regain you faith and decide to stay on and fix things. Whatever your choice I hope it’s one you can live with and that it’s founded in love